Jon Brady says his Brackley Town side must now push on and show some consistency following their stunning 5-1 win over Stalybridge Celtic.
Having conceded five goals themselves in their previous outing against rivals Oxford City, Saints raced into an early lead in a breathless first half at Bower Fold.
Two goals from Ryan Rowe and one each from Greg Kaziboni, Stuart Pierpoint and Sam Whittall gave Brackley an extraordinary five goal half-time lead.
After the break, debut goalkeeper for Stalybridge, Ollie Martin, felled Ryan Rowe and was sent off, however after a delay, Rowe saw his penalty kick saved by stand-in keeper, right-back Oliver Crowley.
To their credit, Stalybridge rallied and never gave up, grabbing one back through Jamie Allen as Saints continued to enjoy possession and plentiful chances. Kaziboni on the left beat defenders at will and substitute Michael Built combined well with Dwayne Samuels on the right, forcing a corner from which David Moyo headed wide.
The first half goal glut started in only the second minute as Eric Odhiambo set up Rowe, whose deflected shot beat Martin in the first blow of what was to become a nightmare first half for the home goalkeeper.
Kaziboni struck the second on 24 minutes, finding the net in off the post with an unerring finish before a composed Whittall fired home from 20 yards after fine build-up play.
Rowe’s second exploited the home side’s increasingly erratic defending as a poor back pass left Martin exposed and Pierpoint netted his first goal for Saints, powering his header into the bottom corner from Eric Odiambo’s corner.
Before the game, manager Jon Brady had billed this encounter with Stalybridge, who started the day just four points behind and one point above the drop-zone, as a “win-if-we-can but must-not-lose” game.
He said afterwards: “The changes we made and good decision-making on and off the ball made the difference today. Last week was unacceptable and a week later this side has shown we can do it. We need to go on to do this consistently – that is what good players do.”
Saints, who are up to 14th in the Conference North, travel to high-flying Hednesford Town this Saturday before Stockport County bring a large travelling contingent to St James Park.
Brackley: Turley, Samuels, Carruthers, Eddie Odhiambo, Pierpoint, Austin, Eric Odhiambo, Whittall, Rowe (Built 73), Kaziboni, Moyo.
Stalybridge: Martin, Crowley, Heath, Hughes, Galinski (Wigley 33), Potts, McKenna (Regan 52), Kerr, Allen, Ennis, Chippendale (Holsgrove 37).
Referee: R. Wootton